Remains of Americus soldier missing for 7 decades laid to rest

Story enlisted in the Army at 16 and he died on the battlefield less than three years later.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 3:57 PM EDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - It’s extremely rare for the remains of a war hero to return home decades after dying on the battlefield.

Cpl. Luther Story’s remains were identified last month and he returned home to Americus recently. On Monday, he was given a proper burial at the Andersonville National Cemetery.

Story enlisted in the Army at 16 and he died on the battlefield less than three years later.

🎖️ RELATED: ‘He’s home’: Missing 73 years, Medal of Honor recipient’s remains return to Georgia

Many of his brothers-in-arms survived because of his actions. He was last seen fending off an attack from North Korean soldiers after his unit was ordered to retreat.

Cpl. Luther Story's remains were buried at the cemetery, 73 years after he was declared missing during the Korean War.

People throughout Americus shared the same sentiment of support for Story’s return. People lined the streets of Americus on Monday for a procession to properly send him off to his burial.

Many said it was an honor to watch Story return home.

“It’s just an honor to be able to be a part of something like this. I’ve served many veterans through the years, but this is truly a special occasion. To be able to assist his family and help them through this process,” Scott Aldridge, Aldridge Funeral Services owner, said.

“Luther Story left here at the age of 17. And when he left and enlisted on October 21, 1948, and he was in the U.S. Army really just briefly before he was killed in action on September 1, 1950. So this means a great deal to the City of Americus. It’s a solemn occasion on this Memorial Day but it’s the most fitting time that there could be for recognizing the heroic, courageous actions of Cpl. Luther Story,” Lee Kinnamon, Americus mayor, said.

A true war hero and serviceman, thousands of people gathered together at Andersonville Cemetery to honor and recognize a man of integrity, courage and sacrifice.

“I really really appreciate it. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate all of you being here. Thank you so much,” Judy Wade, Story’s niece, said. “Luther, his first name, means solider of the people. He really is a soldier of the people. And Hershael for the Hebrew, the word is a symbol of strength and power and God’s faithful care and I believe that that’s true of him. He cared for people in the end. He had strength and power.”

Only 146 military personnel from the Korean War have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Of those, 103 were awarded posthumously — Story was one of those heroes.

Story spent his last moments alive during the Korean War gallantly firing every weapon available to kill and injure approximately 100 enemy soldiers. It’s because of those actions that military officials in 9th Infantry regiment and Alpha Company are proud to honor the Medal of Honor recipient — especially given his age.